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To General John J. Pershing
December 27, 1935 Chicago, Illinois
My dear General:
Your Xmas wire was received and gave us much pleasure. I was uncertain as to how quickly you would make the trip, so delayed my letter until I knew where you were—and I am guessing that you are at the Arizona Inn, as usual.
I hope you and Miss May had a restful journey, if there is such a thing, and that you reached Tucson in good shape. I envy you that mild winter climate, for it is very cold here, and the streets are glassy and the pavements alternating between snow and ice.
I suppose you saw the “makes”, published on Xmas morning. Naturally, I was disappointed after the intimation in your letter from Paris. But your note from Washington prepared me for what happened.1 I had been told by McCoy last spring that General Craig had protested to the Secretary of War in the fall of 1934 against the type of men being promoted and had named me as the first man to be promoted. For this reason the disappointment was a little greater than it might otherwise have been. Every one of these men just made was junior to me— in position—in France. And, as a matter of fact, most of the brigadiers of the past six years were also in more subordinate positions in the A.E.F. The man I relieved in the Meuse-Argonne was promoted years ago, and my principal assistant was made a major general six years back.2 I have possessed myself in patience, but now I’m fast getting too old to have any future of importance in the army. This sounds pessimistic, but an approaching birthday—Dec. 31st—rather emphasizes the growing weakness of my position.
Our entire family was together Xmas, the first time since 1931, and we had a gay and noisy time, with a house full of young people.
Katherine had a telegram the other day from Ann Clews, announcing her marriage, that day, to Blumenthal. Yesterday she had a letter from Ann in which she referred to meeting you in Paris. She was visiting Katherine when she became engaged to Clews.3
McCoy and I have been playing some squash racquets this winter, and are starting on indoor tennis next week. Exercise is a problem in the city, though my two mile walk to the office—and home again—helps a little.
Dawes has been having Saturday lunch parties at the Chicago Club for eight or ten, featuring any interesting person passing through town. There have been some quite interesting discussions. We are going out to his house for a formal party New Years night. He seems in high spirits, so I suppose financial matters have cleared up a bit.
This is too long a letter and I hope has not bored you.
With affectionate regards and all good wishes for the New Year to Miss May and yourself,
G. C. Marshall
Document Copy Text Source: John J. Pershing Papers, General Correspondence, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
Document Format: Handwritten letter signed.
1. Marshall refers to Pershing’s letters of October 4 and December 16 (Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #1-387 [1: 474-5], and #1-393 [1: 479-80]).
2. See Marshall to Pershing, November 19, 1934, (Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #1-365 [1: 446-7]).
3. In 1926, Mary Ann Payne of Baltimore, Maryland, had married James S. Clews. In 1935, she married banker George Blumenthal, who had residences in New York City and in Paris.
Recommended Citation: The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, ed. Larry I. Bland and Sharon Ritenour Stevens (Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 1, “The Soldierly Spirit,” December 1880-June 1939 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1981), pp. 481-482.